Dominoes with a puzzley twist.
Location: at home
Date Played: January 8, 2019
Team size: 2-4 (6 with an expansion); we recommend 3-4
Duration: 30-60 minutes
Publisher: Calliope Games
We’ve been on a kick to find tabletop games that are easy to learn, quick to play, and feel puzzley. Double Double Dominoes is the first one that we’re writing about.
Double Double Dominoes was a Dominoes/ Scrabble hybrid that we found more interesting than traditional Dominoes and a whole lot more approachable than Scrabble.
We were playing Dominoes against one another, but scoring points based on the placement of our tiles on the board. It started off straightforward, but as we placed more pieces, the variables and opportunities to score grew into an elaborate conundrum. When coupled with a mechanic that meant that any player could score on anyone’s turn, Double Double Dominoes turned out to be a thoroughly engaging game.
If you’re looking for a classic style board game that’s easy to pick up, friendly for players of all ages, and comfortably plays 3 or 4 people, Double Double Dominoes would be a great choice. It’s staying in our game collection.
Who is this for?
- Tabletop gamers who don’t require fancy components or elaborate rules
- Competitive puzzlers
- Any experience level
- You can learn the rules in under 5 minutes
- Straightforward gameplay with a reasonable amount of strategic depth
- Piece placement feels like a puzzle, especially in the mid and late game
We played Double Double Dominoes by chaining dominoes together like we were playing a more classic game of dominoes… but we were doing it on a scrabble-like board with score tiles.
There were a few other rules. This video does a good job of explaining everything… even if it’s a bit cheesy.
Calliope Games’ Double Double Dominoes was a classic-style board game with a gentle learning curve.
Core gameplay revolved around pattern recognition, strategic thinking, and bit of luck.
➕ The first few rounds of Double Double Dominoes were gentle, with few options. This created a lovely on-ramp for the game and allowed everyone to get comfortable with the rules and mechanics.
➕ Double Double Dominoes was simple to learn and teach. We pretty much just opened the box and started playing. There were a few nuances, but nothing crazy.
➕ Every player could score on every play. This kept everyone engaged. It meant that the nature of gameplay shifted constantly. It drove the pace of play.
➖ The score markers were fairly transparent, but we regularly found it difficult to tell which number our pieces were resting on.
➕/➖ Double Double Dominoes was much more interesting with 3 or 4 players than it was with 2 players.
➖ This was a small nitpick, but it would have been nice if the tips of the starbursts for point tiles were colored to match the tiles’ value.
➕ After playing quite a few games, most of the time, the person who played the best won. There were a couple of games where it felt like luck was the prevailing factor. This happens in any game that involves chance. The balance seemed fine.
❓ The rules called for players to draw a new tile at the start of their turns. We opted to introduce a house rule where players drew at the end of their turns. This allowed everyone to familiarize themselves with their tiles and evaluate all of their options on other players’ turns. We found that this sped up the pace of the game.
Tips For Player
- Space Requirements: a small table or the floor
Buy your copy of Calliope Games’ Double Double Dominoes, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Calliope Games provided a sample for review.
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